The fruits of hard work from the training ground are starting to show in first team performances, midfielder Will Atkinson said today.
The 29-year-old has been impressed by new training methods introduced by manager David Flitcroft, who was appointed in late February.
Atkinson, who has twice been promoted via the League Two play-offs with previous clubs Bradford City and Southend United, said at a news conference this afternoon: “Since the manager has come in, he’s really worked hard with us on the training ground. I think it’s starting to show now.
“We have worked a lot on shape and things like that and I think that showed an the weekend [in the 1-0 victory at Chesterfield]. We went ahead and I think we got it spot on tactically.”
Stags head into Saturday’s game at home to Port Vale a point outside of the play-off places, with three games remaining. Lincoln City, in sixth and Coventry in seventh, have both amassed one more point than Mansfield and have a game in hand.
“There are a lot of points to play for. It’s about having the belief and not stopping until it’s over."
Previewing another colossal contest for the amber and blue this weekend, Atkinson said: “We’re in the game for big moments and big games. We want three wins [from the remaining three fixtures] – there’s no hiding from that.
“They’re just going to keep getting bigger and bigger. We’ve shown that we can cope well with the big games and hopefully we can go onto Saturday and get another positive result.
“You have to have that belief. It’s about who is in the [final play-off] positions at the end of the season, not with a few games to go, that counts.
“There are a lot of points to play for. It’s about having the belief and not stopping until it’s over.
"We have to go into every game, hoping and believing we can win.
“There are no easy games in this league, no matter what anyone says.
“They’ll [Port Vale] come here and I am sure they will look to frustrate us. We’ve got to rise to the occasion, get on the front foot and take the game to them. We have something to really play for and believe in.
“The fans will be in good voice, especially after last weekend. They’ll be right behind us. It’ll be good to get back here in front of our home fans and hopefully put in a positive performance.”
Supporters can log in to www.mansfieldtown.net/ifollow to view Will Atkinson’s interview in full later today.